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The Truth About Alice: A Novel Hardcover – June 3, 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 202 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Teen & Young Adult Book of the Month, June 2014: The rumor mill has always been a side effect of high school, but thanks to cell phones and social media, a story can now spread at warp speed. The Truth about Alice is what happens when a teen girl is targeted as a slut, courtesy of party gossip. Before things blew up, Alice had been liked well enough by the other girls and attractive to the guys at her small Texas high school, but was uninterested in being part of the "in" crowd. Multiple narrators tell the story of how one unchecked rumor took on a life of its own, and the individual motives of those closest to it. The voices are authentic and reveal how destructive the desire for popularity can be ("if you give people enough time, eventually they’ll do the most heartbreaking stuff in the world ") as well as the flip side--resilience in the face of injustice. --Seira Wilson

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Healy, Texas, is a small town where everyone knows each other's business, and the scandals that unfold around Alice Franklin are no exception. The book is told from alternating points of view, and four of Alice's classmates provide accounts of heavy drinking and rumors about Alice's promiscuity. Readers are told that the title character had sex with two boys at the same party, sent obsessive texts that led to the death one of the boys, and had an abortion. As the story unfolds, Alice is called a slut and a skank, is abandoned by her best friend, is ostracized by everyone, and endures a "slut stall" in the girl's bathroom filled with derogatory graffiti. As more is revealed, each narrator shares elements of culpability for the rumors and mistreatment of Alice, and teens are introduced to the potential damage that rumors and lies bring. Though certain participants in the rumor mill feel bad and readers get the sense that Alice heals from the horrible events while developing a meaningful relationship, the treatment of such serious topics is cursory at best. Mathieu skims the harmful topics of slut-shaming, rumors, and lies in a way that places this title in the ranks of books like the "Gossip Girl" series by Cecily von Ziegesar (Little, Brown) as opposed to more thought-provoking titles like The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (Little, Brown, 2010).—Adrienne L. Strock, Chicago Public Library

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (June 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596439092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596439092
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Whenever I first started reading this, I totally thought, "teenagers aren't this bad" and rolled my eyes a few times. But then the realization smacked me in the face that teenagers are this bad and so are we. This book was such an eye opener. Sure, it held onto cliches and stereotypes, but it worked. The Truth About Alice was a brilliant and sad tale that left me with a smile as I finished it.

I'm really into character driven stories. The way that the author tells this story is perfect for that. There are a handful of characters that you read from their point of view. It gives you all sorts of angles into the plot. I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Because of that, you get to know all of the characters fairly well. The character I had the most love/hate relationship with was Kelsie. At first, I hated her. But then I just pitied her. Kurt was definitely my favorite, and his parts were my favorites.

This book handles a lot of issues so well. It doesn't sugar coat things. It serves them up as honest as it gets. It made me have a lot of respect for the book and the author.

In a world where we can't go a day without hearing about someone being bullied, The Truth About Alice serves as the perfect cautionary tale that still manages to give hope. It's such a quick read that you'll read it one sitting. You won't regret it, either. Fans of Young Adult contemporary fiction, welcome to your new obsession.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Jennifer Mathieu and NetGalley.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book was powerful. With multiple and ever changing POVs, it allowed the story to take a multi-dimensional spin that made us look from different angles. Because of the great writing, it was easy to follow the story while the characters stayed in their perfect personalities.

This story was about cliches. About high school and it's drama and how something small could turn around and blow out of proportion. The rumors could ruin someones life and The Truth About Alive really showed that.

I could not say anything more that wouldn't be as good as the other reviewers said about this book but I did really really love it. It made me sad, made me happy, and made me angry. Alice was definitely very likable and not reading from her POV made the story just that much stronger.

ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Truth About Alice is such a difficult book to review.

This story is told in POV's from everyone except Alice. It's unusual, yet I loved it because we could really understand the real motivations behind bullying Alice. Her reputation was shattered. And even if we didn’t know what Alice was feeling, we knew that she still held her head high. We know that Alice is strong (even if she is suffering some pretty bad things). But we get more insight as to why everything is happening, because Alice isn’t actually in the loop.

The Points of View in this book were:

Elaine: the school's Queen Bee
Kelsey: Alice's “best friend”
Josh: a football player, Brandon’s best friend
Kurt: school nerd (the only nice person in this whole book).

They all have a different story to tell, and we get to see why they all (except Kurt) contributed to Alice’s downfall.

Out of all of the characters, the one that hurt me the most was Kelsey. Kelsey was supposed to be Alice’s best friend! She was supposed to be there for her! Yet, she decided she loved popularity more. It makes my blood boil. Kelsey was immature, naïve and childish. I genuinely hated her.

The writing accommodated to each character that was narrating. With Elaine, the writing was very juvenile and overly simplistic; Kelsey had an overall feel of desperation (to be popular, to fit in); with Josh it had kind of like a frat boy feel, like a boy who hadn't yet matured; with Kurt the writing was actually wonderful and fluid. He expressed himself appropriately, and his thoughts were really poetic and thought provoking. I probably enjoyed his chapters the most because he's the one who we got the most character insight from.
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Format: Hardcover
I was really excited for this book; slut-shaming is an issue I feel strongly about, so the story sounded right up my alley. And I did really enjoy it; if The Truth About Alice is supposed to be a portrayal of how horrible people are to each other, then it definitely succeeded. But even though I appreciated its message, I still didn't love the novel: to me, the characters are underdeveloped and the story doesn't really go anywhere. That's why The Truth About Alice was only an okay read for me.

The characters are okay. Even though I'm not usually a fan of having so many different first-person narrators, I did like the concept of hearing Alice's story from different perspectives. I appreciated that Jennifer Mathieu actually managed to make the different characters' voices distinct. But I still don't think the characters are fully developed: there's Elaine, the most popular girl in school; Kelsie, Alice's ex-brest friend; Josh, the popular guy; and Kurt, the loser that befriends Alice when everyone else abandons her. They never really break out of these stereotypical molds, and we never get to find out anything about them as people. All of these characters' actions frustrated me throughout the novel, but I understand that them being horrible people is the point. Kurt, though, is supposed to be this great person for befriending Alice in her time of need, but I couldn't get myself to like him, either. If the only reason he starts talking to Alice is his romantic interest in her, this ruins any kind of genuine interest in helping her he might have, and it bothered me that this is never really addressed.
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